I-Team: Izabella's Story

Seven-month-old Izabella passed away at daycare in January 2013.
Seven-month-old Izabella passed away at daycare in January 2013.

PERRY COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Losing a child would be a nightmare. And, for a Cape Girardeau County family that grief was compounded by a lack of answers.

Is too much red tape preventing them from moving forward with their lives?

Jeremy and Adrian Moore will spend the upcoming holiday season without their baby girl.

Seven-month-old Izabella passed away at daycare in January 2013.

Since then, the Moore's say they've learned very little about what truly happened and they want to know why.

June of 2012 was a joyous time for the Moore family when the birth of baby Izabella brightened their world.

"She was beautiful, wonderful, a perfect little angel," said Jeremy Moore-Izabella's Father.

As a proud dad, Jeremy Moore just had to share every moment of this little one's life with everyone he knew.

"She was a facebook baby," said Jeremy Moore. "In seven months I took 7,000 photos of her, and almost 400 videos."

Sadly, this story does not have a happy ending.

On January 18, 2013, everything changed.

It started out as a normal day.

"I got up, got her ready and took her to daycare," said Adrian Moore-Izabella's Mother. "She was perfectly fine and healthy that day."

Adrian left Izzy with her in-home daycare provider on County Road 838 in Perry County.

She left, not knowing that would be the last time she would see her baby alive.

"I left work early that day because we were going to meet friends for dinner," said Adrian Moore.

On her way to pick up Izabella, she was behind an ambulance.

When the ambulance never turned off, her heart dropped.

"I knew something was wrong," said Adrian. And, her fears were confirmed.

"They told me it was her," said Adrian. "She was already in the ambulance at that time."

Izabella wasn't breathing. Emergency crews rushed her to the hospital where she died.

"It's not something you get over," said Jeremy Moore. "You don't get past it."

Still in shock, the Moore's went through the motions.

They also have an 11-year-old daughter, Mallory, who was grieving as much as they were.

When they started to ask, how could this happen? The answers didn't come.

"The loss of her is bad enough," said Adrian Moore.

According to documents Heartland News requested from the Missouri Department of Social Services, the babysitter put Izabella down for a nap around one that afternoon then went back to check on the child three hours later.

Records show that she was purple in color. That's when the sitter reportedly called 911, and attempted CPR.

Autopsy results show the cause of death was Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

A child review panel later in the year also came back with the same cause of death.

That is about all the Moore's know to this day, saying they have reached out to Perry County, Missouri authorities for answers.

"I was told at the appropriate time they would release it to us, they've never done it," said Jeremy Moore.

They turned to attorney Spencer Farris for help.

"We reached out to the prosecuting attorney for answers, for whatever reason they weren't able to participate," said Farris.

Heartland News also contacted prosecutor Tom Hoeh. He said many of the records in this case are subject to statutes.

"Whenever I am in doubt of whether sensitive records should be released, I will err on the side of not releasing the records," said Hoeh.

Hoeh said a court order would be needed, which is something Hoeh says the Moore's have pursued.

"My clients want to know what happened and they want the truth," said Attorney Spencer Farris. "The search for the truth is the heart of this."

That's why the Moore's have filed a civil lawsuit.

The sitter was charged and fined for operating a childcare facility without a license.

According to court records, she had too many kids in her care at the time of Izabella's death.

Heartland News reached out to the sitter and her attorney, and so far, we haven't heard back from either.

According to the Prosecutor Hoeh, no criminal charges are expected in connection with Izabella's death.

"Was it avoidable; Will this happen to any other families?" asked Spencer Farris.

Izabella's family is not satisfied. They want to know more. They want to hear the 911 tape and see every document filed on this case.

"We want the facts and we want accountability," said Jeremy Moore.

"One child dying is too many, but for it to happen and not have any understanding or reason is unacceptable," said Farris.

No one ever wants to be in their shoes, but what if ... and what if you wanted answers?

Heartland News reached out to other local prosecutors who say it is not uncommon for certain records to not be released.

You have some options, such as, the Sunshine Law and the Freedom of Information Act: Those are used quite frequently by members of the news media to get access to information.

However, that may not be enough.

That is when you may need to hire an attorney to help you get a court order.

What do you think? Is it too difficult? Or, is the red tape there for a reason- to protect the families and the cases?

Head to our Facebook page and weigh in on the conversation.

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